Contraband Detection

Contraband Detection
The Contraband Detection System was developed to automatically inspect cargo containers for concealed drugs, explosives, hazardous material and other contraband that do not have distinguishable shapes.

Based on an innovative application of Pulsed Fast Neutron Analysis (PFNA) technology, a cargo detection system is able to scan and analyze sealed cargo containers for the presence of contraband and explosives. The presence of specific materials are detected and measured through their constituent elements, by exposing them to short bursts of fast subatomic particles called neutrons. Interactions between a fast neutron and the elemental contents of cargo produce signals, called gamma rays, specific to that element. Sensors around the inspected object detect these signals.

The energy and number of signals give the elemental signature and quantity; the time of arrival pinpoints the location of the elements in the cargo. The PFNA signal processing reconstructs the material signatures into 3-D volume elements called “voxels.” Many elements can be directly detected, including carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, silicon, chlorine, aluminum and iron. The elemental signals are processed and combined into unique, material specific signatures in each voxel. These signatures are compared to a database of contraband, terrorist threats, hazardous materials or dutiable goods signatures. If there is a match, the system automatically alerts the operator.

Cyclone's CPCI boards are used in the data acquisition sub-system that performs construction of the histograms for analysis, data reduction, and host communication.


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